The DNREC Office of Boating Safety and Education’s mission is to develop individual awareness, skills, commitment to safe responsible behavior, and constructive actions in safe boating. The goal for students is to be aware of state laws regarding safety violations and how to prevent them from happening while still enjoying Delaware’s waterways.
Capt. Joshua Hudson
Open Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Persons born on or after January 1, 1978 must successfully complete a boating safety course before operating a motorized boat, including personal watercraft, on Delaware waters.
The Office of Boating Safety and Education is dedicated to teaching boating safety to residents and visitors — both children and adults. It has forged partnerships with organizations such as the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Power Squadrons, the Delaware Safety Council and several others to help educate the public to keep Delaware’s waterways safe and clean.
The Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police, provides an introduction to Delaware laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation.
These also meet the boating education requirement:
The Basic Boating Safety Course covers a range of important topics. These include the rules of the waterways, distinguishing navigational aids and water depths, and speed limits for appropriate waterways. It covers understanding weather systems to have a safe boating experience and basic skills, including engine mechanics.
The course includes state laws and regulations, as well as required equipment, and what to do if an officer stops your vessel. The Basic Boating Safety Course has a section on the dangers of boating under the influence.
The course teaches users how to keep their vessels comfortable and safe in all types of waves, seas, weather and conditions, and how and when to use a marine VHF radio if needed.
Most importantly the course emphasizes common sense and general courtesy to all boaters and personal water craft riders.
This Basic Boating Safety Course meets the requirement for mandatory boating education.
Use the DNREC Boater Safety Card website to access your online profile, classes you have taken, and your boater safety cards on the go.
This free, online course, sanctioned by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, provides guidance for safety while padding canoes, kayaks paddleboards and other non-motorized craft. It will earn you a Paddlesports Safety Certificate. But please note: it is not a Delaware Boating Safety Course.
It is required by Delaware state Law. All persons born on or after January 1, 1978 must take the Safe Boating Course to operate a motorized watercraft.
The Safe Boating Course provides you with the knowledge and background to participate in a wonderful recreational activity.
It helps to build confidence for beginning boaters, and review knowledge in more advanced boaters. More advanced boaters can then move on to take additional courses.
The knowledge learned helps to avoid the possibility of receiving tickets, violations or having to go to court.
The course teaches parents and minors, the obligations and responsibilities of operating both vessels and Personal Water Crafts on Delaware Waters.
Boating is an enjoyable activity that bears responsibility.
Completing the Safe Boating course enables you to receive a discount on your insurance policy.
Boating Safety Classes are offered throughout the State. Please check our Boating Safety Course Schedule for a list of classes. Several online courses also meet the requirement.
If your boat is currently registered in Delaware you do not need to purchase a boat ramp certificate to use a boat ramp maintained by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. If your boat is registered out of state you must purchase a boat ramp certificate.
Purchase a boat ramp certificate online or in person from one of these Delaware boat registration agents. Or print, complete and mail-in a boat ramp certificate application.
Everyone on your boat should wear a life jacket, but it is mandatory that all children 12 and under wear a life jacket. All vessels must have a life jacket for each person on board. Everyone on a personal watercraft (jet ski) must wear a life jacket (both driver and passengers) at all times. Anyone being towed behind a vessel is required to wear a life jacket.
Operating a vessel under the influence, or OUI, is a serious offense in Delaware. It is illegal and dangerous to operate a vessel on state waters while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two. Boaters are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol, within 4 hours after the time in which the vessel was operated.
Personal watercraft operators in Delaware must be at least 14 years old. They must have proof of successful completion of an approved Boating Safety Course. Personal watercraft operators who are 14 and 15 years old are required to have an adult on board. Those who are 16 years of age, who hold a boating safety education certificate, can operate without adult supervision.
There are a few ways to register your boat in the state of Delaware.
There are several organizations that offer additional training classes. They include the Wilmington Power Squadron, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Related Topics: boating, education, outdoors and recreation, safety